Breaking News

Breaking News


Nation and World briefs for December 29

  • 4688734_web1_AP16363755035641.jpg
  • 4688734_web1_AP16350799959991.jpg

Dylann Roof won’t work to spare his life in church massacre

ADVERTISING


Dylann Roof won’t work to spare his life in church massacre

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof says he won’t call any witnesses or present evidence while representing himself during the punishment phase of his death penalty trial, but he is working hard to keep secret potentially embarrassing evidence about himself and his family.

Just exactly what that evidence is remains a mystery. Roof, the judge and prosecutors carefully tiptoed around describing it during a hearing Wednesday. The judge has indicated that it may be allowed during the penalty phase of the trial, which starts next week.

The same jurors who convicted Roof earlier this month of killing nine black church members in a racially motivated attack will hear from Roof as well as testimony from the families of victims. At the end of the penalty phase, the panel will decide whether Roof, who is white, should be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison.

Roof was warned by U.S. Judge Richard Gergel that being his own lawyer was a bad idea.

“That’s your decision,” Gergel said. “I think that highlights my advice to you that you aren’t served by being your own counsel.”

Fans create impromptu Walk of Fame star for Carrie Fisher

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fans seeking to pay tribute to Carrie Fisher have created an impromptu star for the actress on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Fisher fans took over a blank star on Hollywood Boulevard and used paste-on letters to spell out her name and the phrase “May the force be with you always.” Candles and flowers surround the star.

Fisher did not have an official star on the Walk of Fame, but administrators of the Los Angeles tourist attraction are allowing the tribute temporarily to give fans a place to mourn.

Walk of Fame stars are granted by a committee overseen by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Celebrities must apply to be considered and be willing to pay a $30,000 fee.

There has also been a run on Fisher’s books since the “Star Wars” actress and humorist died on Tuesday.

Man suspected of ties to Berlin attacker detained in Germany

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Wednesday that they have detained a Tunisian man they think may have been involved in last week’s truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.

The 40-year-old, who wasn’t identified, was detained in Berlin during a search of his home and business, federal prosecutors said.

The man’s telephone number was saved in the cellphone of Anis Amri, a fellow Tunisian believed to have driven a truck into the market on Dec. 19. Amri, 24, was killed in a shootout with Italian police in a suburb of Milan early Friday.

Of the new suspect, prosecutors said in a statement that “further investigations indicate that he may have been involved in the attack.”

Twelve people died and dozens more were injured in the truck attack. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

Fish oil pills for pregnant moms may cut asthma risk in kids

(AP) Children whose moms took high doses of fish oil during their last three months of pregnancy were less likely to develop chronic wheezing problems or asthma by age 5, finds a study that suggests a possible way to help prevent this growing problem.

Asthma cases have been rising in developed countries, while consumption of omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fish has decreased. Some earlier studies suggested that omega-3 deficiency during pregnancy may affect asthma risk in babies, but they were too small to be definitive.

It’s not known why this may be — one theory is that fish oil lowers inflammation, which can tighten airways.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark did a rigorous test, assigning about 700 women to take 2.4 grams a day of a supplement containing two types of fish oil, or look-alike pills of olive oil, in their third trimester of pregnancy, when babies’ lungs are maturing. Neither the moms nor the researchers knew who was getting what until after three years, and then only the researchers knew until the children reached age 5.

Moms recorded how many episodes a child had of lung problems lasting for at least three days. This was called persistent wheezing until a child turned 3 and asthma after that.

Video appears to show Texas police shooting man walking away

DALLAS (AP) — A police dashcam video released five months after a Texas officer shot a black man appears to show the man walking away as the officer fired, and the man’s lawyer says he was not a threat.

David Collie was shot in the back, leaving him paralyzed, lawyer Nate Washington said Wednesday. Police said at the time of the July encounter that a Fort Worth officer fired twice, striking Collie “once in the lower torso.”

The officer and a Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy with him were off-duty at the time and working a security detail at an apartment complex, Washington said.

ADVERTISING


Police were searching for two shirtless black men who they believed had committed a robbery near a gas station, Washington said. Authorities said in a news release they issued at the time that Collie pulled a box cutter from his pocket and pointed it at the officers.

Collie was charged with aggravated assault on a public servant but a grand jury declined to indict him.